TT159: Professional Fee Protection

December 23, 2010

<em>With the Government looking to reduce the massive national debt there is now even more pressure on HM Revenue &amp; Customs (HMRC) to bring in additional monies to the Exchequer.</em>

Add to that the new far reaching powers of inspection granted to HMRC in 2009 and it is likely to mean that the number of tax enquiries will rise and that they will become more complex than ever, consequently increasing the costs of representation.

As a result, professional fee protection, designed to reimburse the costs of representation in the event of an HMRC enquiry, is in increasing demand.

<strong>Major updated powers available to HMRC</strong>
<li>HMRC can request any statutory record within the taxpayer’s power or possession.</li>
<li>Powers to inspect business premises after seven days notice.</li>
<li>A two tier tribunal system with an additional review of any appealable decisions.</li>
<li>A four tier, scaled penalty system, which takes into account multiple variables.</li>
HMRC is empowered to look into the tax position of any taxpayer, regardless of whether all returns and payments have been made on time. You may have to justify your accounts, income and lifestyle and many people are shocked at the type of questions HMRC can and do ask.


<strong>How does professional fee protection work?</strong>

Subject to certain limits and exclusions, professional fee protection is designed to reimburse you/your company for the costs of representation (such as accountancy fees) in the event that you are selected by HMRC for enquiry. With the costs of representation properly insured, the taxpayer will not feel obliged to accept unreasonable or opaque tax assessments from HMRC.


To meet with increasing demand Barnes Roffe LLP have recently teamed up with a leading provider of fee protection cover, to offer our clients a comprehensive fee protection package at competitive rates.


Our clients are strongly advised to subscribe to the service.  Tax enquiries can cost many thousands of pounds and take several years to settle.  In 2008/2009 alone, HMRC collected an additional £12billion through compliance activities.


For further information about professional fee protection, including what is and is not covered, please contact your Barnes Roffe LLP relationship partner.

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